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Can someone try to change the law to benefit themselves in pending litigation?

Grand Haven, MI |

i am involved in litigation with my brother who is an attorney. we are on opposite sides. i discovered that he went to the arizona legislature to try to change existing law in order to help him in the lawsuit. he was not successful. is this legal?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Yes he is free to lobby for beneficial new law, though it likely will not affect his pending litigation. In most cases, new law is applied only prospectively, so it will not affect causes of action that arose before the new law was passed. That said, there is probably no legal barrier to your brother seeking a change in the law. In fact, there is a private quasi-immunity called the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine that specifically protects citizens from liability for most actions arising from their lobbying efforts. This quasi-immunity is often specifically applied where the new law sought is anti-competitive or otherwise detrimental to ones competitors.

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Posted

Thank you.

Posted

Based on the limited facts you provided, yes. Simply asking the legislature to consider a change in the law is not improper. We all have a right to advocate for changes in the law. Nevertheless, if your case is ongoing you should consult with an attorney. Good luck.

This answer is not intended as legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

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Posted

Thank you. My brother presented a scenario to the legislature identical to our case but did not disclose that he had any personal connection or would benefit in any way by having a new law passed. Is that ethical?

Asker

Posted

Thank you, Mr. Newman, for your answer. It was not the one I was hoping for but I do want to know the truth.

Posted

Yes.
You can ALSO try to change the laws if you wish.
The Republicans do it all the time.

THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION.

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Posted

James, Thank you for your answer and you are right about republicans. it is hard for me to understand how this could be legal when there is pending litigation. i am not a lawyer but it seems very self serving and devious not to disclose to the legislature that is is for personal reasons. Is this something that may be considered unethical and be reasons for disbarrment?

Posted

As my answering colleague stated, everyone has a right to advocate for a change in the law.

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